Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Winter Comfort

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DSCN2808eYesterday was the “day after” our little snow event and the sun was shining, birds were singing, and the chilling wind just didn’t feel all that cold. Much to my dismay, my little pocket camera only had enough battery power for a couple of pictures in the beautiful light of the rising sun, before it said goodbye and powered down.

The scenery was extra special with the powdery snow crystals glimmering in the early sunshine. Very few animals had ventured out yet, so Delilah spent most of our first perimeter patrol of the day fervently checking the scent of the tracks she had made in the snow the night before.

DSCN2806eAfter breakfast, we headed outside to do some shoveling to tidy up the edges of the plowed areas I’d done in the dark Tuesday night, and then tackled the nooks of the shop and the barn that the plow doesn’t get. When I say, “we,” I mean that Delilah stands guard on her leash nearby while I do all the work.

She is a pretty sweet partner. Twice I looked up to discover that she had found a frozen mouse that I had unceremoniously tossed out of traps in the house garage and the shop, days or weeks earlier.

My “toss” is an attempt to get them to land well into the trees, but if you have ever tried flinging a mouse out of a trap without handling it, more often than not, somehow the motion of ejecting it counters the swing meant to make it land far away. It then flops down almost at my feet. Not my proudest moments.

The unquestionable highlight of the day came after I had finished shoveling and switched to scooping up manure in the paddock. By this time, I figured Delilah was on the brink of having had enough of not being the center of my attention, but I wanted to get the chore done before heading in for lunch.

The horses were out in the hay-field, soaking up the bright sunshine and Delilah had squeezed under the wood paddock fence from where I had hung the handle of her retractable leash, scouting out the poo piles. It was feeling about as comfortable as a winter day can get. Soon the horses began laying down for a nap.

They had moved into two groups of two, with a short distance between them. One horse in each group stayed standing while the other two lounged on the snowy ground. I love witnessing this routine. In minutes, I looked again and saw that a third horse had joined the two lying down.

Next time I looked up, they were all on the ground. My clomping and clanking of the wheelbarrow and tools didn’t seem to disturb them a bit. Then I spotted Delilah. She was joining them in a solar snooze, head down and eyes shut, sleeping on the snow in the paddock.

It was so serene I was tempted to lie right down and join them.

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Written by johnwhays

February 5, 2015 at 7:00 am

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